Entale Brings Its 'Enhanced Podcasts' to iOS
Entale is another (see The Guardian and Spotify) company aiming to develop a new format for podcasts. You might recall that late in 2017, GQ and Universal Music in the UK tried out some enhanced audio podcasts? Well that was powered by Entale’s publishing platform.
Now they have their own iOS app which adds synced chapter visuals and links during playback.
I tried it out and Entale feels like the most polished version of this concept that I’ve seen. It has slick chapter navigation and allows you to scroll past the current keyframe to see what other photos and links are coming up. Inevitably it works much better for factual shows rather than the more loose roundtable conversation-type podcasts. Slate’s recent Slow Burn, for example, becomes more powerful by having photos of the people in each episode (also nice that Entale has mobile and web versions).
However, my previous questions from my earlier post, Does Podcast Need a New Format?, still remain (along with a couple more specifically for Entale):
- While The Guardian and Spotify have large existing audiences, building a new social network is hard and asking people to a) download a new app and b) move their consumption away from their existing podcast app is a difficult ask for Entale
- There is the chicken and the egg problem: are publishers going to spend effort to make these enhanced episodes when there is a small audience, but then the audience won’t grow without the publisher’s content
- Podcasting is a joy because it fits around you when you are doing other things. “Podcasts: for when your eyes are busy” as one of the McElroys declared on a recent episode of My Brother, My Brother and Me. How can you convince your listener to reach into their pocket and look at their phone?
- And on that note, is it worth the effort of building a new platform and social network just for the listener to reach for their phone to occasionally look at an image? What is the business model here? (My guess: bring display ads to podcasting)
- At what point does ‘enhanced audio’ become a video? And now you’re competing with YouTube and Netflix which doesn’t seem like a place you want to be.